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Indian naval chief: Navy keeping close eye on Chinese ships in Indian ocean region

Addressing the annual Naval Day news conference, Navy chief Sunil Lanba said a Chinese nuclear submarine was deployed in the Indian Ocean and it made a port call at Karachi harbour. Photograph: (Others)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 03, 2016, 05.00 AM (IST)

Indian Navy chief Sunil Lanba said the Navy "kept a close eye" on People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean region, PTI reported.  

Chinese People's Liberation Army is the armed forces of the Communist Party of China and the armed forces of the People's Republic of China. 

The Chief of Naval staff's comments came while addressing the annual 'Naval Day' news conference where he said a PLA submarine was present in the Indian Ocean and made a port call at Pakistan's Karachi harbour, PTI reported. 

"As far as People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ships and submarines are concerned, the Indian Navy keeps a close eye and monitor their movements. We have maritime domain awareness of the deployment of PLA naval forces in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).

"We launch surveillance missions in the form of aircraft and ships to keep a track of them. They had started deployment of their submarines from 2012," he added. 

Lanba also labelled Pakistan's claims that an Indian submarine had entered its territorial waters last month as "bogus". 

"There was no Indian submarine deployed in the area where the Pakistani Navy is claiming it to be. As far as repelling a submarine of any nation goes, it is not an easy task and the claim made by Pakistani Navy is totally bogus. We deploy submarines where there is an operational necessity and we will continue to deploy them," PTI reported Lanba as saying.

The Indian Navy's focus is in the Indian Ocean region followed by Strait of Bab el Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz.

The chief also answered questions regarding the Navy's prowess in the Pacific region saying "The Navy is well within its capabilities to operate in the region." 

"India has a plan in place that takes into account what is happening in the neighborhood," Lanba told PTI, in reference to Bangladesh acquiring its first submarines from China. 

The chief also added that Kalavari Class Scorpene submarine has "successfully finished dry trials and further trials are in progress". 

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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